Earl Hicks, 62, retired director of the bureau of statistics of the International Monetary Fund, died of cancer Thursday, at his Owings, Md. home.

Mr. Hicks joined the research department of the TME in 1946. In 1949 he became chief of the statistics division of the IMF research department. He became director of the fund's bureau of statistics when the bureau was established in May, 1963, a position he held until he retired for reasons of health last December.

Mr. Hicks also played a leading role in the development of a number of IMF publications, including International Financial Statistics and Direction of Trade.

He was instrumental in developing the IMF computerized data system, the Data Fund.

Data, including a nation's international monetary reserves, its credit, national interest rates, the state of nations' balance of payments and unemployment rate, are fed into the Data Fund.

International Financial Statistics is published monthly from statistics made available through the computerized Data Fund. The Data Fund also provides statistics for Direction of Trade, published annually but brought up to date by monthly releases.

When Mr. Hicks retired, H. Johannes Whtteveen, managing director of the IMF, said:

"During his 31 years with the fund . . . Mr. Hicks made distinct and inestimable contributions to the stistical work of the fund . . . He has substantiated the fund's role as the center for the collection and dissemination of statistics relevant to the monetary and payments problem, . . . and has established the fund among international agencies as one of the most respected in the statistical field."

Mr. Hicks was born in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina.

He worked as a junior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from 1939 to 1941.

He served in the Coast Guard during World War II.

Mr. Hicks worked for the Department of the Treasury where he became principal economist in the division of monetary research before joining the IMF in July, 1946.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, and two daughters, Millicent and jennifer, of the home; two other daughters, Leslie, of Durham, N.C., and Jacqueline Retting, of Warwick, N.Y.; a son, Michael, of Indianapolis, a sister, June Galke, of Arlington, and a grandchild.